US operator EOG Resources is wasting no time in Australia preparing to drill its maiden offshore oil exploration well.

The company has just completed the acquisition of Block WA-488-P off northern Australia which contains the large shallow-water Beehive oil prospect.

EOG has already applied to the Australian offshore petroleum regulator Nopsema for geophysical and geotechnical investigations in the area of the Beehive prospect.

These studies will collect seabed and shallow geological information to help EOG understand the best location for a jack-up drilling rig.

The G&G work is planned between April and August next year, and EOG has said previously that drilling of the well will take place ideally before the second quarter of 2023.

The company that sold Block WA-488-P - Melbana Energy - said it received an initial purchase price of US$7.5 million.

Melbana has also negotiated contingent payments based on certain future actions and successes by EOG.

The Beehive prospect has been assessed by Melbana to contain 416 million barrels of oil equivalent on a best estimate basis.

“It is tremendously exciting for all of us here at Melbana (and, as we have learned, for many other observers) that the Beehive prospect identified and championed by our geoscience team is finally going to be tested," said Melbana's executive chairman Andrew Purcell.

"This play type, untested in Australia, has been responsible for some of the world’s great hydrocarbon discoveries so we wish EOG Australia every success in its preparations for and execution of the exploration well they are planning to drill.”

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